Sailor Moon Eternal Movies Review: Watch It or Skip It?

After much waiting, my favorite magical girls are back with the next arc of the Sailor Moon remake. This time they created the latest season as a two-part film series. While they have initially disappointed me with the first season of the remake, the animation studios have been constantly improving as the series goes on, so I was excited to see what they had in store.

Pretty Guardians Sailor Moon Eternal The Movie

Pretty Guardians Sailor Moon Eternal The Movie sailor-moon-cast
  • Episodes: 2
  • Genres: Demons, Magic, Romance, Shoujo
  • Studio: Toei Animation, Studio Deen

Synopsis

Sailor Moon Eternal follows the Dream arc from the manga. After witnessing a solar eclipse, Chibiusa struggles to get home to her original timeline and receives a call for help from a Pegasus called Helios. The arrival of the Dead Moon Circus group also spells trouble for the Sailor Guardians as they get attacked one by one through Nightmares.

*Contains spoilers

Story

While I absolutely love the series and the underlying messages of friendship and love Sailor Moon continues to share with its audience, the story confuses the hell out of me.

But let’s start with what I understand. The premise of this arc was simple, each ‘episode’ involves one Sailor Guardian getting in trouble with the Dead Moon Circus members as their insecurities get targeted and used against them. As they get weakened, an inner self provides them with the motivation and power to overcome the enemy, transform and win the day. This gives us more insight into each character and their personal struggles. So far, so good.

Pretty Guardians Sailor Moon Eternal The Movies review main cast

At the same time, there’s an overarching storyline happening between Usagi, Chibiusa, Mamoru, and Helios. As Helios is connected to Mamoru, when Elysion was attacked and Helios imprisoned by Queen Nehellenia, Mamoru falls ill as a black rose forms in his lungs. Helios sends his spiritual form to the trio seeking help from his ‘maiden’, yet he seems to save their asses each time they get in trouble. He does all this while being imprisoned. Who’s supposed to be saving who here?

I also never got to understand the constant switching of timelines and how they’re connected in the first place. It doesn’t help that Usagi and Chibiusa pretty much share the same names (Serenity, Little Serenity, etc.).

Pretty Guardians Sailor Moon Eternal The Movies Usagi and Chibiusa Serenity, Little Serenity
Little Serenity and Serenity

The power dynamics are also kinda inconsistent. In some fights teamwork was effective and in others, everyone is rendered immobile, and one Guardian conquers the day (e.g., Sailor Venus’ fight). Along with the over-the-top names of attack moves (Moon Gorgeous Meditation anyone), it was pretty hard to take those scenes seriously. While I expected that’s just the nature of the show, I’d have appreciated it if they kept them more consistent.

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Another thing that bugged me was the scene when Mamoru and Usagi disappeared and Hotaru and Chibi ran off to fight the enemy. Why is everyone else standing around like that? And why it took them so long to notice the two kids are gone? I felt like that scene was kind of unnecessary and just didn’t make the Sailor Guardians look good.

I loved seeing the Outer Guardians again in the second film though. I was sad they made no appearance in the first film, so I was glad they took the time to cover their story at the beginning of the second.

Bishoujo.Senshi.Sailor.Moon.Eternal-Guardians-Outer Guardians Sailor Moon Eternal Movies Review Watch It or Skip It

Despite my rants, the films ended well, and they did a great intro into the next arc with the appearance of the Sailor Quartet. The Stars arc is the one I remembered the most from the original series and while it confused me to no end, I’m excited to see it again!

Characters

Sailor Moon: I feel like we got to see more of her mature side in the films, which I appreciated. I love Sailor Moon when she’s serious and imparting thoughtful messages. She’s portraying more of that elegance Neo-Queen Serenity possesses. The part where Mamoru turned her away coldly made me sympathize with her. Despite that, she continued to show concern for Mamoru and understood his predicament.

Usagi-sailor-moon-SailorMoonEternalTheMovie_Main_Part2

PallaPalla: Out of the Amazoness Quartet, I found PallaPalla the most interesting. She’s definitely the most active out of the four at least, coming up with all sorts of ways to torture the Guardians. Even though she was an enemy, I found her adorable and cute, so I was glad to see her become Sailor Pallas. I’m looking forward to seeing more of her later in the series.

pallapalla sailor moon eternal Amazoness Quartet Pretty Guardians Sailor Moon Eternal The Movies review

Sailor Chibi: Chibiusa plays a central role in this arc, as she continues to struggle with her desire to become like Sailor Moon. Despite the ridiculous ruminations and her falling in love with Helios at the drop of a hat, it’s easy to forget that she’s just a kid figuring things out in an unfamiliar world. I’m glad that the appearance of the Sailor Quartet gives her some hope for the future that awaits her.

Sailor Chibi Chibiusa Bishoujo.Senshi.Sailor.Moon.Eternal

Art and animation

The art and animation are out of this world, pun intended. The transformation sequences are *chef’s kiss*. This is light years better than the transformation sequence of the first season, I’m so in love. And when Sailor Moon became Eternal Sailor Moon, I felt so emotional I think I cried. This was definitely something chibi me would’ve loved years ago. I have no qualms with the animation, and it was clean throughout the films. I’m so glad they took the movie route this time. I’m curious what they’ll do for the next season.

Final Score

Pretty Guardians Sailor Moon Eternal The Movies review Bishoujo.Senshi.Sailor.Moon.Eternal

As a childhood anime favorite, part of my love for Sailor Moon is because of the nostalgia trip it takes me every time I watch it. The art and animation have also upped the enjoyment I feel towards this show. But while the concept of the Dreams arc is beautiful, I felt that the execution could be better or maybe be less confusing. I’m not sure if that’s a complaint to the manga or the adaptation, but that’s just me. Anyway, I give the Sailor Moon Eternal films a solid 7/10.

Thanks for reading!

RV (author)

RV author guest post

RV is the otaku behind Raving Otaku, where she writes reviews and recommendations relating to anime, manga, games, and figures.

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